• All things Pennsylvanian AND Keystone West

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  by STrRedWolf
 
https://www.altoonamirror.com/news/loca ... te-amtrak/
On Feb. 19, Valerie Metzler was riding the westbound Amtrak Pennsylvanian, which was on time through Huntingdon, when it began to slow until it stopped at Bellwood.

The conductor told passengers that a disabled Norfolk Southern freight train was blocking the station platform in Altoona.

By the time NS removed the train and the Pennsylvanian discharged its riders here, it was almost two hours late, according to Metzler, who lives in Altoona.

Delays are common on the Pennsylvanian, and while that one was longer than normal, it illustrates the kind of conflicts that frequently hold up passenger trains. It also illustrates the value of a proposed agreement between NS and PennDOT for right-of-way improvements to alleviate those conflicts and allow for a second daily round-trip Pennsylvanian.
...or maybe three track wide at these stops and have two platforms?
  by JoeG
 
Having seen the list of improvements that apparently PA will finance over 5 years, it sounds like PA will pay for massive improvements in NS's Pittsburgh Line capacity, far beyond Amtrak's needs. I think that if PA is going to be blackmailed like this, at least they should demand huge penalties from NS for any delay to an Amtrak train. Stalled freight? For the amounts PA is willing to pay for irrelevant-to-passenger-service improvements--which amount to restoring stuff NS tore out--NS should at least be required to provide enough protect engines and crews to get stalled trains quickly dealt with.
  by Bracdude181
 
@JoeG “NS should at least be required to provide enough protect engines and crews to get stalled trains quickly dealt with.”

From what I’ve seen NS can’t even do this with their own trains so I’m not sure how they’d pull that off for Amtrak.
Last edited by Bracdude181 on Sun Feb 27, 2022 12:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by JoeG
 
Maybe part of the deal should be that NS stop with the "Precision Scheduled Railroading." That system of minimizing engines, crew, and customer service, and avoiding profitable but lower margin freight in service of the operating ratio, is destroying the usefulness of our railroad network.
  by eolesen
 
Not gonna happen. Democrats pushed too hard for deregulation of the railroads and airlines 40 years ago.

They don't get to unbite the apple....

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  by STrRedWolf
 
Found some more details via a Trains article on the plan. They link to a PennDOT RTC report on what is needed.

In summary, the additions needed to add a second Amtrak daily:
  • Add a third main line to Pittsburgh Union Station to bypass station operations.
  • Add full crossovers (across 3 main lines) in: Johnstown, Portage, Altoona
  • Add a third main and upgrade a siding to main in Altoona
  • Add a third main from Harrisburg west and add needed crossovers.
The report also had a proposed schedule (marked as the Modified Alternate) that goes along with these changes, so I updated my old spreadsheet off Google Sheet. Shared link to sheet. I had to do some recalculation to get NYC to Pittsburgh timings. The "Orig" column is the as-scheduled.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
OK Mr. Wolf et al; one might say that if Topper were to have restored any physical plant yanked since April '05 when the Three Rivers - the second frequency over the Middle and Pittsburgh Divisions was whacked, that should be "fair and square".

But, for better or worse, Topper has "been converted" to "The Gospel According to Saint Elwood", and considering the lesser number, but more tonnage, of trains this operating plan represents, needs to be considered into what will be required to add an additional passenger train frequency.

I can only reiterate to those at this Board enamored with additional passenger train frequencies, that Precision Railroading - the bane of employees and passenger train advocates - has favorably impacted the "bottom line" to investors; and to parody Vince Lombardi, "the bottom line isn't everything; it's the only thing".
  by JoeG
 
Back in the day the Pennsy ran more than 20 trains each way between NY and Pittsburgh. There were at least 4 tracks from NJ to Pittsburgh. Presumably, PSR has reduced the number of freight trains on the route. NS is claiming that PA should pay for major restoration of the infrastructure it ripped out to add...ONE round trip daily? Recreational weed is not yet legal in PA but maybe the NS officials along with Penn DOT journeyed to NJ to inhale. If they weren't stoned this is just a corrupt political deal.
  by Train60
 
Posting this for people who haven't seen it yet:

Amtrak Pennsylvanian Rail Traffic Controller Analysis - Final Report (PDF)
https://www.penndot.pa.gov/Documents/Am ... Report.pdf

Basically, all of the details as provided by NS, to support the infrastructure investments. And yes, it does seem like a lot for just two additional trains.

I've appended two images from the report below.

Image

Image
  by JoeG
 
I just read the document posted by mr Train60. It's impossible to evaluate. One problem is, we have no way to evaluate the software used in the. modeling. Not only that but the software they used is a beta test version. Why aren't they using the production version?
The infrastructure they wish the state to pay for, such as restoring a third track on Rockville Bridge, certainly would benefit NS, the culprit who removed the track. Why would Amtrak need this? For that matter, presumably psr would decrease the future number of trains. The assumption that the number of trains would increase a percentage equal to the growth in GDP does not make sense. Part of the psr model is that the railroad discourages low-margin freight, so why would train volume increase at the rate the GDP increases?

So, as far as NS's document goes, I call BS.
  by WashingtonPark
 
Gotta admit the PennDOT document is quite interesting. 40 and 42 are going to arrive in NY 2 minutes after they depart Philadelphia. Now that's what I call High Speed Rail!
  by scratchyX1
 
JoeG wrote: Fri Mar 18, 2022 1:12 pm Back in the day the Pennsy ran more than 20 trains each way between NY and Pittsburgh. There were at least 4 tracks from NJ to Pittsburgh. Presumably, PSR has reduced the number of freight trains on the route. NS is claiming that PA should pay for major restoration of the infrastructure it ripped out to add...ONE round trip daily? Recreational weed is not yet legal in PA but maybe the NS officials along with Penn DOT journeyed to NJ to inhale. If they weren't stoned this is just a corrupt political deal.
Feels like they saw the deal UP got from Illinois, and said
Me too!
  by rcthompson04
 
https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/go ... il-access/

PennDOT and Norfolk Southern announce operating agreement for an additional Pennsylvanian west of Harrisburg. Looks like the morning departure from Pittsburgh stays with an midday departure added (most likely aligned with Keystone 618 east of Harrisburg). The westbound trains appear to be a bigger change. The earlier train (leaving Harrisburg at 941) would have to originate at Philadelphia at approximately 8am or New York at 630am. The later train leaving Harrisburg at 440pm going west would most likely be a continuation of Keystone 609 originating at NYP at 1254pm.
  by mcgrath618
 
If you were trying to catch the Pennsylvanian from BWI, you would have much more luck taking a train from BWI to PHL and catching the train to Pittsburgh there.
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